Saturday, April 2, 2011

Day One – Travel

Cincinnati:  Here I sit at Gate B9 two hours early.  Baggage check and security went quickly and now I just sit and wait.  I’m scared and excited, equal amounts of each.  This is the greatest adventure I have ever been on.  We figured out last night that it will be daylight the entire trip and will include crossing over the International Date Line! I leave around 10:30 for Detroit where I will meet Jody.  She will be arriving about an hour after me.  I’m committed to absolutely no thoughts of work or worries about anything, just heading to see Andy.

Detroit:  Here we are waiting to leave!  After I met Jody’s plane, we grabbed lunch.  Although there is absolutely no smoking areas in the airport, Jody watched my stuff so I could go outside and go back through security just to smoke.  A good time to quit, maybe, maybe not!  The tunnel from B Terminal to A Terminal is really cool!  I took a video!  There are colors and music, and feels like something that wouldn’t be good if you had a seizure disorder.  Now I’m making my last domestic phone calls and then off to Tokyo!

Leaving Detroit ended up being delayed because some party boys got drunk and threw up as soon as they got on the plane.  The cleaning crew had to come on board and clean the mess while the passenger’s were removed from the flight along with their luggage.

During the flight to Tokyo, the third person in our row was a lady from Grand Rapids, Michigan who was traveling to Beijing to visit her family.  She was a great companion for us especially since she was sitting in the aisle seat and we had to ask her to get up whenever we went to the restroom and needed something from the overhead compartment.  We were also able to get several hours of sleep.

Beer and wine were free!  I chose Japanese beer.  They fed us three meals:  dinner, snack and breakfast (although I’m not sure whose morning it was when we ate it).  For airline food, they were all pretty good actually.  I took a picture of our dinner.

Tokyo:  Needless to say, we were late arriving in Japan and the last thing I wanted was to miss the flight to Bangkok.  Luckily there were many people on our flight with the same connection.  We had to go through another security check and rush to our gate.  Now, here we sit in the most comfortable plane of the day, with electrical outlets under out seat, swiveling TV’s above our sliding tray tables, and nice sized seats with adjustable headrests that fold out to support your head.  NICE!

And this is the last leg of the trip.  Actually Days 1 and 2 but I’m just calling it Day 1.  The second flight (12 hours from Detroit to Tokyo) wasn’t as excruciating as I expected.  And this 7 hour flight isn’t so bad because I know at the end of it I will see Andy.

Bangkok:  The plane to Bangkok was the best one yet.   We watched movies on our individual screens but synced them so we were at the same place.  We watched “Black Swan,” “The Social Network,” and the first part of “Eat, Pray, Love.”  We ate, again, and have had pretty good food for airline food.  Most of what we have been served has been Asian food.  The utensils are pretty cool.

We arrived on time, got through customs and found Andy quickly.  He had met a person at the airport that told him about her place to stay.

Our first night we stayed at “Baan Krittaya Resort” which was about five minutes from the airport.  They provided the cab ride from the hotel and then the next day to the bus station.  We went to our room to freshen up.  It was nice enough with one large bed for us all to sleep in and a bathroom with the shower just in the room.  Cost for the night was 800 baht with a 200 baht key deposit ($20 US Dollars total).

There were several places along the street by the hotel (which was really like a big building of apartments) so we went to find something to eat and drink.  After walking up and down the street we decided on a little bar that was open air with wooden tables and chairs.  Andy and Jody decided on what we would eat (two dishes we all shared) and beer.  We learned to say thank you “Kob Koon Kah.”  I think Jody and I are entertaining for people to be around since we really are out of our element!

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